Alpine Summit

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Honoring Muslims Dishonors Americans?

I've received this e-mail several times before and may have agreed with it a few years ago, but today I'm less inclined to subscribe to the call this e-mail makes. My sister sent it to me today and I replied with some thoughts I felt I should reproduce here.

As much as I hate Islam, it’s important to recognize that this is in fact, part of a series of religious holiday stamps that have nothing to do with specifically promoting Islam. Says snopes:

The EID stamp is often mischaracterized as a "Christmas stamp" even though it has nothing to do with Christmas other than that it is part of a series of U.S. postage stamps commemorating several diverse celebrations (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Thanksgiving) which sometimes occur at roughly the same time of year. (The Holiday Celebrations Series of stamps also commemorates celebrations occurring at distinctly different times of the year, such as Cinco de Mayo.) The statement "[Muslims] don't even believe in Christ and they're getting their own Christmas stamp!" is nonsensical, akin to protesting Hanukkah stamps because "Jews don't even believe in Christ but they have their own Christmas stamp."

It’s also notable that the proceeds go directly to the USPS and not to any specific Islamic group. Snopes makes the point that boycotting this stamp is purely symbolic and will not hurt anyone. Though I do blame our countries latest woes partially on Islam, I blame the people who perpetrate these things more. To say that Islam is entirely responsible for terrorism, while demonstrably true, isn’t. I would say Islam is the catalyst for such horrific acts, but is not the cause. Those who wish to perpetrate evil on another will find a way--they just find it in Islam.

The underlying issues of simple hatred of the west and finding an outlet for said hatred through Islam is the greater issue here. We should keep in mind that there are millions of Muslim-Americans living in America now that have no part of terrorism and are, in fact, productive members of society.

While the Koran does say to “lay low until you’re the majority power in a country, then take over,” I’m not going to lump those peaceful Muslims (whom I think are apostates according to other parts of the Koran) in with people like Zarqawi or bin Laden just yet.

It’s important to remember that our troops are not fighting Islam in the Middle East right now; they’re fighting terrorists whose objective is to hurt us. Their religious motivations are irrelevant and therefore, I don’t think it would be a “slap in the face” to those who died to buy these stamps.

I'm not sure if I've posted a link to this before, but I AM sure I haven't posted it enough. Steven den Beste wrote up an absolutely superb justification for war in Iraq and it primarily deals with bringing stability to the region, and defeating obvious threats to our lives and sovereignty as Americans.

Remember: we aren't fighting Islam, we're fighting Islamic terrorists who have shown themselves to be a real threat to our country-- not "our" religion; America is a secular nation after all.